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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Photos look hazy, need help very confused

    I am a point and shot photographer. I have a new Canon SD850 IS camera and I don't know if it is me or the camera that is causing my images to look soft/hazy. I tried the different presets and the images look very blended or hazy for a lack of better terms. I bought an Olympus Stylus 800 prier to the canon SD850 and the images looked almost burry to me. They were very soft and not what I expected from a new digital camera so I returned it and bought the Canon. The red eye reduction is horrible and does not work. Every picture of a person no matter the angle their eyes are red. The software for the most part will take care of this, but I don't want to spend hours to manually fix this when cameras in the past isnít have this problem. For the past 7 years Iíve been using a Casio QV3000EX 3.3 mega pixel and the image quality looks much clearer/sharper and I rarely had a red eye problem. The image quality for point and shot seems to be much better than both the new cameras that I tried. I don't understand why. I want to have a compact camera that takes good photos like my old Casio. Is it me or the camera?
    Thanks for any advice you may have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    1,129
    Are you able to post any sample pictures to show us specifically what's going wrong?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    740

    Sharpness adjustment

    The SD850IS has a "custom color" section in the "my colors" portion of the menu. The custom color section contains a sharpness adjustment that lets you adjust the photos to be as sharp as you want.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    White Stone, VA
    Posts
    266
    This may seem obvious, but is your lens dirty? You could also try going into the settings menu and go all the way to the bottom and select ďReset All.Ē I have the SD870IS, and it takes awesome pictures, so I figure the IS850 should as well. Also, I think that red eye is just the name of the game when it comes to compact P&S cameras because the flash is so close to being in line with the lens. If you don't want to deal with red eye you might have to get a camera that has a pop-up flash, or supports an external flash. Also, what I've found that helps for portrait type pics on my SD870 is to fold a little piece of paper in half and tape it over the flash.

    Jay
    Nikon D7000 | D80 w/Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 | Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 | Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED | Nikkor 18-200mm VR | Nikkor AF D 50mm f/1.8D | SB-600 Speedlight | Manfrotto 055XB w/322RC2 Ballhead
    Flickr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    90
    This might sound really strange, but it's a more common problem than people think.

    If you live in the American Southeast (LA, MS, AL, GA, FL, NC, SC, TN), Central or South America, Southern Australia, Southwest Africa, Oceania or any other region where humidity is high, you may be looking at fungus. If you live in a generally dryer area, you might think I'm dumb for saying this. The fact is, though, that humidity is cyanide to a camera, specifically its lens, and will cause a fungus to grow on the inside of the lens. Or maybe you don't live in such an area, but the origin of the camera was from a humid climate.

    This is even more common on SLR cameras where the lens can easily be removed, but all cameras are prone to the problem. There is really no way to get rid of it, but there are plenty of preventative measures. I'm not sure if such a problem is covered under the warranty for the 850.

    That's just a guess. If you could post a picture to show what exactly is wrong, that would be helpful.
    Soli Deo Gloria

    Canon Powershot S3 IS, Panasonic Lumix LS70, Konica KD-200Z
    http://photo.surrendered.org/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    814

    Softly... softly...

    Canons are recognised for having generally what's called a 'soft' image ó but not out of focus by any means. You may want to screw up the in-camera sharpness setting a notch to see if it makes any difference. My partner uses an A720 IS and its images (to my eye at least) are soft at its default settings.

    Re the red-eye issue: As the previous poster said, all P&Ss tend to have this problem, and there ain't much you can do about it in-camera. It can help if your subjects can look slightly away from the camera, rather than directly at the lens.

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    90

    A fungus among us

    I came across this link:

    http://help.cnet.com/Digital_cameras...as&nodeId=6501

    ...in regards to lens fungus. It will give a (by definition) haze to images, but in some cases, you can have "veins" in your images, which it doesn't sound like is the problem unless you failed to mention it.

    It's a good think I found this article, because I was going to suggest you keep it in the case and with a lens cap on it, but that looks like it's the worst thing. I'm not much of a biology major, and I thought fungi relied on photosynthesis when, in fact, it's quite the opposite.

    According to that article and many others, the best way to prevent fungus and to keep a clean lens in general is to keep your camera in a dry and well lit (but not directly sunlit) area, and if possible, contained with silica gel. Silica gel is packaged with electronics to prevent moisture from eating away at the guts of the product, and it will destroy any means of life support for fungus.

    If the camera does, in fact, have fungus, send it to Canon or a professional to have it cleaned.

    Perhaps I went off on a tangent, but if anybody is experiencing truly hazy photos with no explanation, this is definitely a problem worth investigating. All brands and types (digital or film, SLR or fixed-lens) of cameras are prone to it.
    Soli Deo Gloria

    Canon Powershot S3 IS, Panasonic Lumix LS70, Konica KD-200Z
    http://photo.surrendered.org/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Lots of Red Eye

    Thank you all for your input. I think I may have found some answers. 1. I noticed that when I take a photo, the way I hold this camera my middle finger is partially blocking the flash. 2. I think for a few of the pictures the lens may have had finger prints on it. 3. I notice when I take some picture that the little green box is not on the middle of the subject. I have the face detection turned on but it doesn’t always highlight the face. Therefore I think the camera is focusing on something other than what I think it should be focusing on. I noticed this when looking at a photo of my daughters in front of the Christmas tree and their toys. The toys looked sharper then them.

    I still get a lot of red I when ever I take photos indoors. It doesn’t matter if the subject is looking strait at the camera or not. The red eye is there at any angle. I don’t know if this matters but I did a comparison on the Best Buy web site of the Cannon 850 IS and the Cannon 870 IS. The difference in flash mode may be the key. The Flash modes are listed as this 850 IS: Auto, flash-on and flash-off. 870 IS: Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, flash-on, flash-on with red-eye reduction, flash-off, FE lock and slow synchro

    I think my 850 IS uses a red beam to try to reduce the red eye where as the 870 IS has “Flash with red eye reduction” I think this is like the cameras that have a pre flash to shrink the pupils. Overall I like everything about this camera, the size, the screen, the menus, the software, the battery charger, the looks of it, everything but the photos it takes. If I didn’t have to clean up the red eye or trash half the images because of the red eye I would be happy.
    Last edited by clark2kent; 01-17-2008 at 07:00 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    1,129
    The red beam isn't to reduce red eye, it's to help the camera focus (provides a light where there would otherwise be very little contrast by which to judge focus). Red eye reduction flash modes, in my opinion anyway, are kind of useless. Because people see the flash (the first flash) and then look away or blink because they think you're done taking the picture, and then you've lost your composition.

    And face detection is very gimmicky. All it does is look for two eyes and a mouth. If you had toys under the tree that were similar looking to two eyes and a mouth, that would explain your missed focus.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    White Stone, VA
    Posts
    266
    Quote Originally Posted by griptape View Post
    The red beam isn't to reduce red eye, it's to help the camera focus (provides a light where there would otherwise be very little contrast by which to judge focus). Red eye reduction flash modes, in my opinion anyway, are kind of useless. Because people see the flash (the first flash) and then look away or blink because they think you're done taking the picture, and then you've lost your composition.

    And face detection is very gimmicky. All it does is look for two eyes and a mouth. If you had toys under the tree that were similar looking to two eyes and a mouth, that would explain your missed focus.
    Actually, on the Canons....well at least the ones I have used, the red beam doubles as the red eye reduction light. If you have red eye reduction turned on, the beam will stay on until you press the shutter all the way down. If red eye reduction is turned of, then the beam will only turn on long enough to help focus the camera and then turn off. It has no effect on the flash, which seems to do two quick flashes regardless of how it's set.

    clark2kent, The flash modes on the SD870 are the same as the SD850, I'm not sure what Best Buy is talking about.
    Nikon D7000 | D80 w/Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 | Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 | Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED | Nikkor 18-200mm VR | Nikkor AF D 50mm f/1.8D | SB-600 Speedlight | Manfrotto 055XB w/322RC2 Ballhead
    Flickr

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